Alligator in Picante Sauce


A delicious Cajun recipe from South Louisiana, as demonstrated by Lidia's friend Kevin Cavalier, in Lidia Celebrates America; Part 1: Sweet Sixteen in Nashville with a Singing Debut, to boot.



  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onion stems, chopped
  • Alligator meat
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 cans tomato sauce
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Creole seasoning (Tony Cachere’s Famous Original Creole Seasoning)
  • 2-4 cups water


  1. Over medium heat, heat 1½ tablespoons of cooking oil, and when hot, add alligator.
  2. Brown meat on all sides, then remove from pot.
  3. In the same pot, reduce heat to low. Add celery, onion, bell pepper, and garlic to pot and sauté until onions start to become clear.
  4. Stir in 1 can tomato paste and 2 cans tomato sauce. Sauté until the tomato paste turns dark.
  5. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning.
  6. Return alligator to the pot and add 2 cups water.
  7. Cover pot and let sauce cook down and reduce in volume. This helps tenderize the meat. Continue adding water until meat becomes fork-tender. Add the 2 green onion stems for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
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